William Bradley: Giant Country

4619 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016
Aug 26, 4 PM - 7 PM — ends Oct 07, 2023
Lowell Ryan Projects is pleased to present Giant Country, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist William Bradley consisting of large-scale colorful abstract paintings and a series of intimately-scaled collages made with construction paper. The exhibition focuses on Bradley's exploration of form, gesture, and narrative while balancing a reverence for those who came before him often with a permeable sense of wonder and humor. The title of the exhibition, Giant Country, is a multi-faceted reference to Bradley’s childhood home in Yorkshire, UK and its influence on his artistic practice.

Both literally and figuratively, Giant Country refers to the large shoes that Bradley must fill growing up in Yorkshire. Yorkshire is the birthplace of renowned British artists such as David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth, John Hoyland, and Henry Moore. Additionally, Bradley shares a first and last name with one of the tallest men ever to live known by the alias ‘The Yorkshire Giant.’ He performed in freak shows during his time and is currently commemorated with a yearly festival. The title further references Roald Dahl’s novel The BFG, popular during Bradley’s childhood, with ‘Giant Country’ being the fantastical land where the Big Friendly Giant came from.

The paintings on view in the exhibition, some spanning over ten feet in length, were created using a combination of cut-out canvas covered geometric shapes attached and overlapping on traditional stretcher bars. Gesturally painted in vibrant color palettes the narrative of the paintings is a story of their making. Bradley who begins working out compositions through both a process of drawing and collage, shifts to a more instinctual approach when his formal structure is realized. In the eponymous painting Giant Country, 2023, set upon a gestural teal backdrop, vertical panels that protrude off the surface of the canvas, free of the constraints of the canvas’ height, both divide and inhabit the space of the painting. Various quadrilateral, trapezoidal, and triangular shapes in bright reds, yellows, and oranges hover on the surface of the work setting the darker or more muted surrounding shapes back in space visually but not physically. Bradley’s paintings do not distinguish between brush mark and sculptural form, his painterly process melding the two approaches as if it were only possible to understand two dimensions as three.